World news

Emotional return to Germany for last refugees

By Toby Axelrod, August 5, 2010

When he was a boy, Shlomo Jakobovits used to walk from home to school to synagogue and back. He knew his Berlin neighbourhood like the back of his hand.

So it was an emotional return when he visited the city last month for only the second time since he fled in 1939, taking in the synagogue where his father, Julius, had served as rabbi and the apartment building where they had lived.

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New York schools shun special needs kids

By Paul Berger, August 5, 2010

Manhattan offers the Jewish parent everything: gleaming community centres, world-class Jewish day schools, and a synagogue on just about every corner. But when it comes to raising children with special needs, New York's glitziest borough is, apparently, lacking.

One recent Monday evening, about 150 people crowded into the basement of Congregation Shearith Israel, on Central Park West, to discuss "The Jewish Community's Obligation to Special Needs Children."

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French battle to bring back 'foreign' names

By Shirli Sitbon, August 5, 2010

Dozens of French Jews have been fighting a battle that few people were aware of - they've been trying to get their family names back.

Years ago, their parents changed their "foreign-sounding'' names so they would sound French because they dreaded anti-Semitism.

But their children and grandchildren see their old names as a trail of their family history. The problem is, French law doesn't allow someone to revert to a former name. And on the rare occasions requests are considered, officials insist that the whole family must agree.

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Ahmadinejad escapes assassination

By Jennifer Lipman, August 4, 2010

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has survived an assassination attempt in Iran.

The Iranian president escaped any injury although others were wounded when his convoy was hit with an explosive.

He was travelling to the city of Hamadan, in western Iran, to make a speech.

Police arrested one person and an official said: "Investigations continue to find out who was behind it."

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Irish Facebook page: 'freaky' Jews with claws

By Jennifer Lipman, August 4, 2010

A Facebook page set up in Ireland warning that Jews have really sharp claws has attracted nearly 400 supporters in less than a week.

A representative of Ireland’s Jewish community said the creation of the page, titled the invasion of Jews in Midleton, was “horrific” and “very sad”.

The page appeared on the popular social networking site after the “freaky” arrival of large numbers of strictly Orthodox Satmar Jews for a holiday in the small town of Midleton, near Cork.

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Adult rating fears for Beastie Boy Holocaust film

By Tom Tugend, August 4, 2010

A documentary on the Warsaw Ghetto has been given an adult “R” rating by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), triggering concern whether historical footage on starvation and death can be shown in high schools for educational purposes.

The film’s distributor, Oscilloscope Laboratories, announced immediately that it will appeal the decision. Beastie Boy Adam Yauch, founder and head of Oscilloscope, said: “MPAA has really gone too far this time. It’s b******t.”

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Israeli killed in Lebanon border attack

By Jennifer Lipman, August 3, 2010

An Israeli soldier has been killed in a clash with Lebanese troops on the border.

Battalion commander Dov Harari was 45 and came from Netanya.

Four others, including three Lebanese soldiers, were killed in the incident, which saw the worst violence on Israel’s northern border since the Second Lebanon War of 2006.

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Jewish groups differ over 9/11 mosque plan

By Jennifer Lipman, August 3, 2010

A row has broken out between rival American Jewish groups over the proposal to build a mosque and Islamic centre in Manhattan just metres from the site of the 9/11 attacks.

The plan by American Muslims to build a community centre by Ground Zero, where the World Trade Centre towers once stood, has the support of New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and prominent Jewish lawyer Alan Dershowitz.

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Jordan vows to fight terrorism after rocket hit

By Jennifer Lipman, August 2, 2010

Jordan has condemned a rocket attack on Israeli and Jordanian Red Sea port cities as an act of terror.

One man was killed and three injured when a rocket landed outside a luxury hotel in Aqaba in Jordan.

There were also reports of explosions in Eilat, on the other side of the Red Sea, but no Israelis were injured.

Both Israel and Jordan said they believed the short-range rockets had been fired from militants operating within the Sinai peninsula within, which Egyptian officials denied and said was “impossible”.

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Chelsea Clinton marries under a chupah

By Jennifer Lipman, August 2, 2010

It had been described as the wedding of the century and by all accounts Chelsea Clinton’s marriage to Jewish investment banker Mark Mezvinsky did not disappoint.

The daughter of former US President Bill Clinton and current Secretary of State Hillary Clinton married under a chuppah at a ceremony presided over by both a rabbi and a Methodist minister.

The event was shrouded in secrecy from the earliest stage of planning, and security was so tight that guests were given identification bracelets before they arrived.

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